[ toh-path, -pahth ]

noun,plural tow·paths [toh-pathz, -pahthz, -paths, -pahths]. /ˈtoʊˌpæðz, -ˌpɑðz, -ˌpæθs, -ˌpɑθs/.
  1. a path along the bank of a canal or river, for use in towing boats.

Origin of towpath

An Americanism dating back to 1780–90; tow1 + path

Words Nearby towpath Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use towpath in a sentence

  • The towpath Trail, a 20-mile stretch of the path where mules pulled canal barges, runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is ideal for cross-country skiers looking for mild terrain.

  • Those interested in American history will flip for Washington Crossing Historic Park and the Old Barracks Museum, while nature lovers should bring their bikes for a ride along the D&R Canal towpath, now a paved multi-use trail along the water’s edge.

  • The towpaths that run alongside the canals were once used by horses and teams of men to pull canal boats loaded with coal, foodstuff and raw materials, but were quickly abandoned once railways were built.

    Fun: A River Runs Through It | Sean Culligan | June 4, 2021 | Ozy
  • Your moderate strength of a mere everyday physical education gives you the sufficient mastery of the towpath.

    Ceres' Runaway | Alice Meynell
  • The mules took fright, got into a regular mixup, broke the harness, and went up the towpath at a two-forty gait.

  • The oats was brought, and the Juke, boldly mountin the jibpoop, throwed them onto the towpath.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward | Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)
  • We tried towing, with a line along the towpath, and the boat banged against the bank constantly.

    The houseboat book | William F. Waugh
  • Tony and I and the coal-cart will await you on this spot, at the corner of the towpath on Sunday evening at nine o'clock.

    El Dorado | Baroness Orczy

British Dictionary definitions for towpath


/ (ˈtəʊˌpɑːθ) /

  1. a path beside a canal or river, used by people or animals towing boats: Also called: towing path

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012